About two days before our wedding anniversary, our washing machine died. For just $35, the repairman was kind enough to tell us that a slow leak had caused its innards to rust and the motor was dead. Even if he could repair it, it would cost more than a new machine. Great.
Thanks to my sister-in-law's Christmas present (unwrapped early), we had dinner plans for our anniversary. (Thanks, Beth!) Afterwards, we'd originally planned to get some Christmas shopping done for the kids. When you have three children, however -- particularly when one is in cloth diapers -- dirty clothes aren't something you want to get too far behind on. So after dinner, we had a lovely evening looking at washing machines.
It seems our desperate circumstances actually worked in our favor. After narrowing down our choices, we found out we were incorrect in our assumption that they'd have a sample of most models in back. So we asked what they had in the store right then. This revealed a discontinued model that the store happened to still have sitting in the back. There was no floor model on display; this was truly the only one they had. But we got a good deal on it because of that! (Or so it seems to us and we'd appreciate not being disillusioned.)
And there was also a good thing about the timing, as far as time of year. Our babysitter wasn't available until later than normal dining time. If it hadn't been the holidays, the store wouldn't have been open late enough for us to shop after dinner.
So, we found out we could indeed fit the washer in our minivan and drove it home. I then had to get the old washer out of the laundry room. I'd attempted to do so before dinner, but discovered it wouldn't fit through the way I'd initially picked, so I had to clear a second path when we got back home. Thanks goodness the laundry room has more than one door. Once that was done, I had to bring in the new washer and install it. And after that, I had to run an "empty load" to clean the machine out before using it. In the end, I think I got to bed around 1:30 a.m., but there was a load of clothes running when I did.
Two last interesting notes. First, the new washer thankfully came with new hoses. In removing the old ones, I discovered we were supposed to have changed them about seven years ago. You'd think after having our house flooded by a burst washing machine hose several years ago, we'd have learned our lesson and kept a better eye on that. I have dutifully recorded the date that the new hoses should be replaced in my PDA, so I'll get a an alert sometime in 2013.
Second, I was once told by a repairman that a clothes dryer can last through about three washers. Most people don't keep them that long, however, because they want their appliances to match. We're on a budget and don't give a flying fig; the laundry room's not a room we show off to guests. We bought our first washer and (the current) dryer from our home's previous occupants. The dryer is now on it's third washer. So happy anniversary, dear. I hope you like your present the clothes washer. Let's hope the "clothes dryer anniversary" doesn't come until at least 20 years of marriage.